First Look: The Red Bench, a new café, fro-yo shop and made-to-order cookie spot on Yonge Street


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Fresh out of the oven (Images: Karolyne Ellacott)

Although hubby and wife team Elie and Dena Kirreh have tried to split up their brand new business, The Red Bench, into a shop that’s equal parts fro-yo, loose-leaf teas and made-to-order cookies, it’s the last item in particular that caught our attention.

The Kirrehs first encountered the made-to-order cookie in Montreal, but found that those cookies tasted a bit too much like dough, rather than a just-baked cookie. Using a convection oven — rather than the usual toaster-style version — the duo turns out orders of crisp rounds that don’t just taste like warmed dough.

Each cookie order does, however, begin with the dough: original, oatmeal, peanut butter and double chocolate are available, alongside a gluten-free variant (made with brown rice and tapioca flours). Based on Dena’s recipes, the dough is made fresh each morning.

The fillings, so to speak, are next, with options including organic chocolate chips, shredded coconut, macadamia nuts and toasted almonds. Patrons select two, and the goods are kneaded together, split into rounds and popped in the oven for around five minutes.

Each order yields five small cookies ($2.85), and for the full experience, various milks or Tealish teas can be paired up for dipping pleasure. Come summer, the Kirrehs are planning to offer sandwich cookies filled with house-made frozen yogurt and sorbets, so keep an eye on this place.

The Red Bench, 611 Yonge St., 647-748-4868

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